Compiled by Emmerentia Fick
From a digital marketing point of view, there is a significant difference between an electronic newsletter and an electronic campaign. In short, an electronic campaign is more focused on communicating a single message with a specific call to action whereas an electronic newsletter will focus on a number of topics and is more centered on educating and informing clients, which in turn, builds rapport and loyalty.

Newsletters present firms with a great opportunity. When you offer your readers real value, they will reciprocate by offering you a slice of their attention. It therefore makes sense to keep newsletters separate from your campaigns.

A good newsletter will include the following:

  • Added value articles which informs the client about subjects they may be interested in. This provides links back to the website where they can read the complete articles – thereby spending more time on your blog.
  • Information them about upcoming events that may be of interest and that your firm is involved in.
  • Announcements on a new service you are introducing.
  • Testimonials from a recent client you have worked with or a case study.
  • Ways that people can connect with your business on social media so that you can maintain engagement.
  • Good call to actions that tell the readers what to do next i.e. read more here, register here, to learn more etc.
When creating this content, you need to be focused on giving your clients information that informs, entertains, adds value and ultimately answers their questions.

A successful marketing campaign, on the other hand, is well-thought-out, focused on details and embodies the following characteristics:

  • Clear and single-minded. The core message, regardless of the media platform, is easy to understand and based on one core insight.
  • Relevant. When exposed to the campaign, people in the target audience feel that ‘’It is for people like me.’’
  • Tangible. The call to action is clear, so people know right away what you are asking them to do.
  • Emotional. In most cases, information alone is not inherently motivating. Effective campaigns appeal to people’s emotions as much if not more than their rational side.
Campaigns that are clear, relevant, action-oriented, and emotional are more likely to have the desired effect—in most cases, to influence people to change a behavior that benefits themselves, their families, or their community. Here are some key numbers to remember when embarking on an electronic campaign:

40 percent of the impact of the campaign comes from sending it to the right client database in the first place. A well develop and segmented mailing list is vital. Segmentation is the process of dividing a market segment into distinct manageable groups of clients that are likely to behave in a similar manner or share a similar set of needs or characteristics. Audiences are influenced in different ways by different types of content. If you offer numerous service, or are targeting more than one group, then it makes sense to divide your audience into small segments so that you can market specific services to specific groups, or craft your message to suit the characteristics of the different segments. Although segmenting your list takes more time and effort, it does not need to be a daunting task. Even the most basic segmenting will result in significantly higher conversion rates.

40 percent comes from the value of the offer. The engagement process can begin when you offer something of value to the client. By giving clients something that they deem to have worth, you are building trust from the beginning and positioning yourself as an authority figure. Ask for something in return. Sometimes you might want to provide something of value to clients in exchange for submitting some simple information that can be used to build your marketing list.

20 percent comes from the design or writing of the piece. A campaign is normally in a different format than your newsletter. You need to create a direct message with a strong offer that will spur the recipient to action. What do you want the recipient to do next? Your goal is to get action and not just to inform. You can get creative with catchy wording and graphics. Your goal is to get the reader to respond.

Lastly, always remember to analyse the results of the campaign. Here are a few important questions to ask: Did the final results match what you expected? What parts of the demographic responded better than expected? Are there subsets of your target audience that you can focus on in future mailings?

Where newsletters aim to increase awareness and strengthen positioning, every campaign you run aims to contribute not only to your turn over figures but also to enhancing your client database. Using both as part of your marketing plan, will surely benefit your overall marketing ROI.

This article is a general information sheet and should not be used or relied on as professional advice. No liability can be accepted for any errors or omissions nor for any loss or damage arising from reliance upon any information herein.

Posted in Business Relations | Tagged Sample
2014-12-01
Compiled by Tobie van der Merwe
Traditionally, lead generation was centered on cold calling, chasing referrals and active networking. Even though there is still a place for these tried and tested lead generation techniques, the emergence of online marketing platforms have however dramatically changed the way firms attract new clients. There is a major change in consumer behavior and the way they use technology to find potential service providers. Recent research studies have shown that about 80% of people (potential clients) use online platforms like websites, blogs and videos to search out and learn more about a firm before making contact. Potential clients go online to educate themselves around a specific need they have, find potential firms that can address those needs and to check out those firms to see if they are a suitable option as service provider. As professional services firms adjust their marketing tactics to generate leads through online platforms, it is important to ask this question: Who is our target market? By asking this question, we can adjust our marketing approach, focus and message in order to attract better quality leads.

If you want to grow your firm faster and be more profitable, one of the key disciplines you need to master is better client targeting. A well-defined and well-understood target market helps you align your marketing tools and marketing message for better lead generation. Here are seven key questions you must be able to answer positively to maximise the positive impact of client targeting.

    1. Have you analysed your existing clients to determine how to define your best target marget? Your current clients are usually the best place to start when defining your ideal target market. Aspect to consider are profitability, compatibility with your firm and team and long term loyalty. In short, you are looking for what is already working. This step will help you make sure you are targeting the right type of clients.
    2. Do you understand their problems, concerns, hopes and daily reality? This is a challenging question, but really pay dividends when well thought through. Many firms only focus on demographics (age, geographics, income levels, etc.). Try to put yourself in the clients’ shoes to understand what feelings and needs drive their buying behaviour. When you understand the pressures and problems your target market is experiencing, you can develop service offerings that will make their lives easier.
    3. Can you get specific about your target market? If you have sufficient information to describe your target clients in detail, you are more likely to find and attract qualified prospects. This knowledge will help your entire marketing program – from brand development to your marketing plan. Questions 2 and 3 will help you to create a suitable message when communicating via email marketing, your website or newsletters.
    4. Do you conduct research on your clients to anticipate their needs and uncover trends? Formal, systematic and structured research (not to be confused with the “informal research” many of us do on our clients) will put you in a position to understand the trends affecting your clients. The importance of research is often overlooked. Formal research allows you to anticipate what services your target market is likely to need and therefore position yourself to offer those services in advance of your competitors. This is more pro-active approach than constantly reacting to the market.
    5. Can you identify the best channels to communicate with your target market? The previous questions focused on developing better targeting and a more focused message. By answering this question you will be able to better deliver that message. Where do your target clients get their information? Which blogs do they read? What associations do they belong to? If you don’t know the answer to these questions you will be less effective reaching your best prospects.
    6. Does your firm have credibility with your target market? Without credibility, you will struggle to attract attention and interest. Building credibility takes time. Start by ensuring that you create quality website and blog content. Also consider using case studies, client references and personal branding of directors or partners.
    7. Have they heard of your firm? This final point addresses visibility. You may have a great reputation, but if only a few people in your target market have heard of your firm, you will have limited traction. Visibility is one of the easier problems to solve if you understand your specific target well, have a credible and informative message, and understand where your customers turn for information.
Make the time and effort to identify and know your target market. It is the starting point for more effective lead generation and lead nurturing plan.

This article is a general information sheet and should not be used or relied on as professional advice. No liability can be accepted for any errors or omissions nor for any loss or damage arising from reliance upon any information herein.

Posted in Client Service | Tagged sample, sample
2014-11-24